Fuji X - Style AND content? The enduring appeal of my favourite camera system.


They know how to torment us retro heads do Fuji. If resisting the charms of the 23mm f/1.4 isn't hard enough, they have to go and announce the 56mm f/1.2. And now a 10-24mm f/4 zoom with OIS. I was holding out quite nicely until the last one. And it's that OIS that's the difficult to resist element. I'm just imagining what I could do with one of those and the great high ISO performance of the Fuji X cameras. Church and Stately Home interiors with their very low light suddenly come into play hand held. City streets with depth of field to spare. I've often said I don't shoot a lot of high ISO images, but maybe I could get the taste for it. And much as I admire the Sony A7 and A7r cameras, I love my Fuji X bodies.

It's easy to dismiss them as copycat rangefinders and 'lookaleicas' and I have in the past done just that, but I've got 3 of them sitting on my shelf with a gradually expanding lens collection. My Fuji X system seems to be slowly, stealthily and inexorably increasing, almost without me noticing. BS of course because I notice all right. I bought this X-Pro 1 + 18mm kit because it was a good deal and I got a 60mm lens 'free'. I'm going to sell the body I told myself, but I couldn't resist buying the Fuji grip for it. And then I couldn't resist buying a PhotoMadd L-Plate grip as well. Interesting that I now have two add-on grips for a camera that I'm going to sell. And I made this deal with myself. If I'm going to buy the Sony's then I HAVE to sell the Fuji's. But they are still here and try as I might I just don't seem to get round to photographing them for ebay. And I'm now checking out the PhotoMadd site again for a third L-Plate grip. 

So what's going on? Despite all the raw processing difficulties, the operational quirks and the undoubted brilliance of the Sony FF mirrorless wonders, why can't I get rid of this thought that all I really want is my three X bodies and an entire set of AF lenses? Oh and the rumoured weather sealed Fujica lookalike as well.

Well, like a lot of photographers with a sense of history and a love for old design and values, Fuji punch my buttons with alarming regularity. The little devils keep updating their firmware all the time as well, just to keep knocking out reasons not to keep them. And Iridient Developer and Photo Ninja come along to show just what can be achieved from the raw files. And I'm wondering just how long I can hold out before succumbing completely and utterly to Fuji fever and if and when I do I suspect there will be no way back, no rehab, no way to just say no and I'll be lost forever in a haze of nostalgia and film simulation.

It's a bit like a cult really, the born again rangefinder lover and Fuji fanboy movement. And they aren't even rangefinders. Fuji really don't sell that many cameras, but they seem to have created this loyal user base that lingers over their old-school charms and waits impatiently for every announcement of yet another updated version of an old classic lens. And those lenses. Small, light and beautifully made, they are actually quite unique. They aren't rangefinder lenses, they aren't (D)SLR lenses. They have this lovely mid 20th. Century feel but without the metallic coldness and bulk of the originals. I didn't actually like them that much when I first encountered them, with their 'faux' aperture rings, but now I want more and more of them.  

So Fuji X, a very stylish system with classy bodies and lenses. And very addictive as well, it seems.

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